While there is no one path to success, these tips from famous entrepreneurs should help you achieve success faster.
The Secrets to Success That Famous Entrepreneurs Believe In
1. Follow Your Dreams and Work to Your Strengths
“Empower yourself and realize the importance of contributing to the world by living your talent. Work on what you love. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.” -Catharina Bruns, founder of WorkIsNotAJob
The first advice most famous entrepreneurs would give is to follow your dreams.
Follow your dreams and act on them because no one else is going to make your dreams come true for you. A lot of people have great ideas, but few people have ever gone out to actually try acting on them.
If you are going to venture into something new, it should be something that you are genuinely interested in. Do not start something simply for the sake of making money; do it because you are passionate about it.
Choose something that you are passionate enough about to keep pushing forward despite the falls you encounter. Believe in your ideas enough to inspire others to believe and be passionate about them, too.
Know your passion. Play to your strengths. Embrace your expertise and utilize it for the good of your venture.
2. Set a Goal, Have a Purpose, and Keep the Big Picture in Mind
“Have the end in mind and every day, make sure you are working towards it.” Ryan Allis – co-founder and CEO of iContact
When you already know what you are passionate about, it is time to start setting some goals.
Setting tangible goals gives you something to aim at. It gives your chosen path a certain direction – markers that will tell you that you are going the right way.
On your journey, you will certainly encounter difficulties. During those moments, it is imperative that you keep the big picture in mind. Remember why you started this venture. Keep in mind your passion and focus on the emotions that will propel you forward.
Fears and doubts are strongest in times of failures and challenges. Therein comes the importance of choosing something that you are passionate about and identifying your ambitions.
Additionally, try to make sure that you are doing something good. Affect people’s lives in a positive way. Having this as one of your purposes keeps you grounded and gives you direction.
3. Plan but Be Flexible
“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” – Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter
All successful entrepreneurs know the value of planning. As the old saying goes, “Plan your work and work your plan.”
Come up with a few sets of plans. These business plans paired with marketing outlines are essential blueprints for success. They can help you identify the landmarks on the long road ahead. Plans will also be your measure of progress and success.
At the same time, be flexible enough to know that things do not always go as planned. The most important thing to remember in planning is to know how to anticipate problems. Try to come up with a plan for addressing unplanned and unanticipated events.
Making the same mistake over and over again is insanity. Doing something that works today may not always work in the future.
You have to plan to achieve maximum results. Plan, but remain flexible. Anticipate problems and know that adaptation is key.
4. Seek Knowledge
“My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had – every day I’m learning something new.” – Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group
Seek to grow from your experiences every day.
On many occasions, you might have heard the saying, “It is not about the destination, it is about the journey.” The same is true here.
At the end of each day, reflect on what you learned. Keep your eyes on the excitement of discovery, improvement, exploration, and learning. This should help keep you fueled and driven towards achieving your goals more than focusing on results. The latter will kill your motivation the moment you hit a speed bump.
Focus on finding something to learn from daily. Have this perspective and I can guarantee that not even the worst boss can ruin your day. In fact, you can even learn from him or her.
5. Prepare Yourself for Failure and Attack It with a Positive Mindset
“I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon
No matter what you may be going into, failure is inevitable. Famous entrepreneurs today know that it is all about the approach that you have towards failure that makes all the difference.
Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that will not work.” This attitude towards failure – the focus on learning – is the one that famous entrepreneurs have adopted.
They know that mistakes are simply inevitable parts of any learning process. In fact, with the right mindset, those mistakes and failures will fuel your successes in the future.
Have an enthusiasm for exploring and trying out new things. Your downfalls are not real failures – they are lessons. The real failure is to never have even tried at all.
6. Focus on Commitment – Not Motivation
“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti, former Formula One and NASCAR racing champion
Commitment is not the same as motivation. Motivation comes and goes, commitment is unconditional.
If you commit to seeing whatever it is you started through to the end, then despite the lack of motivation you might sometimes encounter, you will pursue it.
The problem with depending entirely on motivation to start something is that it can be fleeting. Setbacks will easily kick your motivation outside the door. Commitments will allow you to see those setbacks as hurdles that you simply have to jump over and not as stop signs you have to follow.
Commit to your goal and the motivation will eventually follow.
7. Authenticity is Everything
“Authenticity is your most precious commodity as a leader.” – Marcus Buckingham, founder of The Marcus Buckingham Company
Be the embodiment of whatever it is you are selling.
With the advent of technology, transparency in businesses nowadays has become even more imperative. The best way to become transparent is to embody your brand and its ideals.
Know that people will watch your personal and professional lives because you are the face of your business. Your actions and your words reflect on your products and your brand. The way that you conduct yourself shows whether or not you truly believe in whatever it is you are selling. It all goes back to choosing something that you are passionate about.
Be authentic. If you are different, embrace whatever it is that makes you unique. Afterward, transparency should come naturally.
8. Stop Hiding Behind Technology
“Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.” – John F. Kennedy, former President of the United States
While the trend of using Facebook and other social media platforms to connect with other people seems to be rising, top famous entrepreneurs still recommend that you stop hiding behind all the tech.
Reach out to your business partners and your clients. Avoid hiding behind computers and smartphones. Face-to-face communication is still different from simply communicating online. As old and traditional as it may seem, people should not forget the value of this despite the technological advancements we have made.
At the end of the day, business is still about people. Genuinely connect with them, internal or external. If you have something to say to your colleague a couple of desks away from you, walk over to him and talk to him. Do not just send him an email. If you have a business proposal, do not just meet over Skype if they are just a few blocks away.
A genuine human connection is more than just adding someone as a friend on your social media accounts. For the benefit of your business, stop hiding behind technology and go out there. Become visible. It is a powerful tool if you want to have that authentic connection with your people, your partners, and your customers.
9. Ask for Feedback and Act on It
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates, founder and CEO of Microsoft
Seek feedback and use it as a tool for improvement.
As I have mentioned over and over again, it is important that you keep an open mind about failure. Use those failures as lessons and try your best to act on them so they never happen again.
In any business, feedback is important because it allows you to see holes in your plans and your products that you would not have seen otherwise. It enables not just the buyers, but the people in your company to have input in whatever it is you are doing.
Do not view those comments as attacks. Instead, take them as constructive criticisms that challenge you to better yourself in the future.
As much as possible, allow an open line of communication between the departments of your company and between your company and your client base so that each can give feedback on the other. Cultivate a culture that thrives on those feedbacks to fuel their desire for growth instead of viewing them as mere attacks.
An effective exchange of information gives your company the capacity to prioritize improvements that are most suited to your customers’ wants and needs.
10. Look for Quality – Not Mere Qualification
“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.” – Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce
In any business, it is important to have people that will help you build. In choosing those people, it is important to look for quality and not simple qualifications.
It is important to list a bunch of qualifications for a job advertisement and find someone who can tick off all those technical qualifications. “Graduated from this university with this degree; has 3 years working experience; etc.” A person may have the qualifications for the job, but just because she has check marks in all the boxes, does it immediately mean that you should hire him or her?
If you truly want your venture to succeed, successful entrepreneurs recommend looking for quality over qualifications.
Develop your sense of people. Try to look for partners and not mere employees. Hire people who sincerely believe in your ideas and your ideals, ones who genuinely care about people. Look for people who are genuine and will give you honest answers when you most need them. Find partners who have a drive for continuous learning as well so that you can easily develop that culture in your company.
11. Grow Your People
“Make your team feel respected, empowered, and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.” – Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora
One of the most famous entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, teaches young entrepreneurs to train their people well enough not so they can leave but to take care and treat them well enough so that they never want to.
Take care of your people. Strive for their growth as much as you strive for yours and your company’s. Take care of them well enough and eventually, you will reap those benefits as well.
As with chess, pawns and knights are just as important. In fact, the king, left alone, does not have that much power.
Nurture your people and allow them to grow. Get to know them and match them with their passions and interests so that they can enjoy what they are doing. Group the less experienced with the more experienced to allow them to learn from one another. Maybe conduct team building activities that can help boost their performances as they bond with their colleagues better.
Allow your people to work outside their comfort zones, grow as individuals and reach their full potential. In the long run, this creates better employees for your own company as well.
12. Make the Journey Fun
“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” -Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia
Keep an enthusiastic, supportive, and eagle-eyed attitude towards your day to day dealings and according to successful entrepreneurs, the people will eventually come and the product will eventually get attention all on its own.
Always remember to keep that positive mindset. Enjoy every day and leave the negative attitude behind. Remember that both in business and in life, the journey is more important than the destination. Reaching the top of a mountain is only satisfying because of the adventures and hardships you encountered going up there.
Though it is a serious topic, do your best to keep things light. Taking it too seriously will force you to carry a heavy emotional weight. That weight will eventually crush your spirit and make you lose perspective.
If you are no longer having fun with what you are doing, then it might be time to do a self-check and recalibration.
13. Continue to Challenge Yourself
“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” – Andy Grove, CEO of Intel Corp.
Strive for continuous growth. Do not allow yourself to stagnate. If need be, do not be so kind to yourself.
Successful entrepreneurs from different fields all say the same thing – take advantage of today. A lot of people make the mistake of waiting for the “perfect timing” or the “perfect opportunity” after having made one or two mistakes. They easily become afraid of committing another one so they opt to stay in their comfort zones and wait.
They should be doing the opposite. During those moments of fear and doubt, it is even more important to go out there and challenge yourself. As much as you are afraid of failure, try and try again. Those setbacks are there to test your commitment and teach you a lesson. They make the journey worth it.
When you reach that goal, aim for another one.
Continue to challenge yourself to aim for greater heights but keep your feet grounded at the same time. Appreciate what you have and be grateful for it but never allow yourself to plateau and stop growing.
14. Prioritize Your Health Across All Aspects of Your Life
“There is nothing more important than our good health – that is our principal capital asset.” – Arlen Specter, former US Senator for Pennsylvania
Perhaps the most important advice given by numerous successful and famous entrepreneurs is to prioritize your overall well-being. This includes your physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social health.
Connect with your family. Meet with your friends over a few cups of coffee. Engage in sports that you love. Do shallow things that you enjoy. Take time to rest.
At work, switch things up every now and then. Work physically one week and be still the next. After working as a team, try to focus on doing a certain task alone.
Essentially, respect your body, your mind, your heart, and your soul by doing things that are good for you and give you joy.
In any business, it is easy to get consumed by the day-to-day tasks. It might swallow you without you even noticing how tired you have become until you are already burnt out.
Manage your time better as you take care of your well-being across all aspects of your life. It does not just protect you from burnout, but also keeps you functioning in a better state day-in and day-out.
15. Invest in Your Future
“It’s not about how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.” – Robert Kiyosaki, founder of Rich Dad Company
Somewhere down your chosen path, no matter what it may be, you will look to retire. When that day comes, you should have your money invested in vehicles that allow you to continue to earn even after retirement. Look for the right mediums that could allow you to retire as early and as comfortably as possible.
A lot of famous entrepreneurs say that investing in real estate is one of the best ways to go. It can continuously generate passive income for when you retire. It could also be a long-term investment since its value often more than doubles in the span of a few years.
Know how to invest your money and make it work for you. This should allow you to retire or at least slow down earlier, giving you time to enjoy the benefits of all you have worked for.
Starting a new venture can be terrifying. There are a lot of uncertainties especially for those who do not have that much experience in the field of business. However, these top tips from successful and famous entrepreneurs should at least help you when starting something new and prepare you for the worst when it happens.
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